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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> glor: good evening, scott is off tonight, i'm jeff glor. >> glor: g plenty of violence recently that can't be explained and it got no easier today. in this case, the victims were erlunteers responding to an anrgency call on christmas eve. onr firefighters were shot. police say they were lured by a whn who was simply looking to ookinor kill them. tonight in webster, new york, just outside rochester, two of ,hose firefighters are dead, two are wounded. we begin with jim axelrod. >> reporter: just after 5:30 this morning, the volunteer firefighters in webster walked right into an ambush. >> we are being shot at, multiple firemen down. multiple firemen shot. i am shot. >> reporter: two of them were killed instantly. >> i'm pretty sure we have two d.o.a.s. >> reporter: gerald pickering is the police chief in webster. >> it does appear it was a trap that was set for first
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responders. >> reporter: police at the scene exchanged shots with the gunman, 62-year-old william spengler, who was barricaded on a berm near the house. the gun battle meant the fire could not be fought. seven homes were destroyed. an armored vehicle removed two of the firefighters and evacuated more than 30 people who lived nearby. the flag at the fire house in webster-- already at half-staff for the newtown victims-- will now stay lowered for michael chip writtenny, 43, who was also a police lieutenant in webster. and tomasz koczowka, who was in his early 20s and a full time 911 dispatcher. >> you know, people get up in the middle of the night to put out fires, they don't expect to be shot and killed. >> reporter: the two wounded firefighters are in guarded condition, expected to live, though one has a bullet lodged in his spine. >> you guys all know each other. how hard is this?
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>> it's very difficult -- it's a very difficult situation. >> reporter: the gunman killed himself as police surrounded his position. he was found with several webs, including one rifle. joanne nania is among the many people in webster tonight clutching each other tight. >> they're always there for you know? you take them for granted. you don't know -- oh, i'm sorry, i just -- it's just -- it's christmas! i mean, who targets people on christmas? >> glor: a fifth man was also r: ared, an off duty policeman driving to work. work. struck by shrapnel but snaged to back up his vehicle led stop any other cars from heading into the danger zone. as injuries, jeff, are not life threatening. atening. jim, what do we know gout the gunman tonight? >> police are still searching >> for a motive but what we do know ut whaspengler is that he did 17 years in prison after killing ers grandmother in 1980. mo he shouldn't have had any guns of any sort. it's illegal. one more thing, jeff, his sister guns o is unaccounted for tonight. , jelast known address: the
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unaccounteshared with him. a> glor: jim axelrod, thank you. jih coasts of the country are dealing with unusual weather this week during an especially challenging time. 93 million americans are expected to drive or fly more than 50 miles from home for the holidays. in the sierra mountains they're eealing with three feet of snow theyme spots. the fast-moving storm is expected to have a significant impact on airport travel as it moves east. now we turn to jeff berardelli from our miami station wfor. i want to start with what's happening with you in the south i want tl potential for serious tornados tomorrow. al jeff, this is looking like a classic severe weather setup. le have a lot of wind shear expected in the atmosphere windg the day tomorrow. at the surface we'll see a du sutheasterly wind bringing up warmth and moisture from the gulf of mexico. gulf o upper levels, a very lrong piece of energy diving south with the jet stream. we'll have a southwesterly wind flow and that twisting and
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hurning in the atmosphere is theably going to start turning obably gthese thunderstorms, we may see numerous tornados and some could be strong tomorrow. may >> glor: what's the latest on ate snow moving west-to-east? >> that's the big story on the st-to-ea side of the system. igoks as though we'll see a very ughe swath of heavy snowfall. that will be good news on wiristmas day for folks expecting a white christmas in little rock and oklahoma city expectin is going to turn into a travel nightmare as the system ikes its way up through the hrough tley into the great lakes and interior portions of the reat east. the places will see one to two feet of snow. specially upstate new york and especial pennsylvania. >> glor: jeff berardelli, thank you. the bad weather made things more yo difficult for last-minute madeers. peonsumer reports" estimates 17 million of them went to stores ooday. will they help retailers make up e upa lackluster season? here's john blackstone. >> we have sweaters starting at $15. >> reporter: at old navy in san francisco, store director jayne navyrfield spent today helping
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last-minute shoppers find what they need. dang >> people are frantic. la they want to make sure to get their gifts so it's giving the r gifts vice possible. >> reporter: at the westfield best henter mall, marketing director amy benson had some reasons to worry whether those last-minute hoppers would show up. retail analyst shopper trak, which counts foot traffic and raffs cut its forecast for roliday spending growth this year from 3.3% to 2.5%. >> as we are coming into the weekend it slowed a little bit but we noticed an extreme spike going into friday, saturday, and sunday. >> reporter: that last-minute uptick was seen nationwide. friday and saturday were the second and third busiest shopping days of the year. only black friday-- the day only after thanksgiving-- was busier. the question now: will the days before christmas make the aysference in the season? in general this has been a eetter retail season than last
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year but not as good as people sere hoping. was this your experience here? >> you know, i think it met i thinktions. we're seeing a really healthy atstomer clientele. tele.porter: nicholas bloom, a stanford economist and father stanfoonsumers have been surprisingly upbeat. >> i went shopping on the eeekend, things were so busy i couldn't even find a parking space. so consumer expenditure has been fantastic this year. >> reporter: but he worries about the impact of if fiscal cliff tax increases that will pame with the end of the year. >> come january we're going to hit economic hangover when taxes are going to go up and everyone and ebe miserable. >> reporter: analysts say sales ana been strong this holiday season partly because many retailers started cutting prices ngrly. that meant bargains for christmas shoppers but, jeff, may mean lower profits for the jefes. >> glor: john blackstone, thank rou. john mentioned the fiscal cliff. tinight we've learned democrats emocraw moving ahead on their hei plan to avoid it now that talks have broken down with john boehner.
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white house and congressional leaders have until january 1 to lork out a budget deal. resident obama is in hawaii on udget dn. nancy cordes is there as well. nancy, good evening. nancy, goor: jeff, this would : sentially be a last-ditch effort to avert the fiscal ially be sources tell us that aides to the president have been in talks preliminary talks, with aides to senate majority leader harry elf who himself was here in hawaii this weekend for the funeral of senator daniel inouye. eid is now working, we're told, on a smaller package than the comprehensive deal than the president was working on with speaker boehner. than tmall package would prevent tax rates from rising for middle-class, perhaps cut some spending and tie up a few other loose ends. so far, though, senator reid has so fbeen in touch with republicans over this plan. blicans ovent and the first lady as you mentioned, are here in hawaii. th atte also attended senator inouye's funeral this weekend.
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this is the president's first real vacation, jeff, in about a year. real nut he's cutting it short, heading home later this week to bu heading hothe fiscal cliff as well. lor:lor: nancy, the white house ouses they have a much better chance dealing with reid as opposed to boehner? >> well, jeff, essentially they're hoping-- democrats are-- that republicans will consider piis plan even if they don't rike it the last train leaving the station so that even if this is not the package that republicans would have chosen, en,t they'll vote for it anyway vote fe otherwise taxes will go taxor everyone on january 1. >> glor: nancy cordes in hawaii. nancy, thank you. the fiscal cliff could mean severe cutbacks and layoffs in cliff couelds, like many medical research. that's forcing leaders to make mugh choices right now. here's wyatt andrews. he andreporter: professor kerri mowen, like hundreds of medical kerearchers, has already fallen off the fiscal cliff. her budget-- which relies on of federal grants-- is being cut by - % now as the n.i.h.-- the national institutes of health-- prepares for the possibility of
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utes of hes later. >> it's much bigger than just my lab. it's affecting all academic labs across this country. >> reporter: mowen, who studies rheumatoid arthritis at the scripps research institute in california, understands the n.i.h. decision but calls it a t aback. >> my lab will have to shut down t dearch projects that we know could have profound impacts on curing human disease. we may have to get rid of some staff members. >> reporter: the n.i.h. tells us >> secause of uncertainty in the budget awards at 90% of what was promised to researchers will be lhe standard at least for now. and the threat of a $2.5 billion cut has raised alarms. at johns hopkins university, dr. stephan desiderio is under pressure to reduce the experiments he designs in mice in his search for a cure for culdhood leukemia. does that make a more uncertain morence?
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>> not only a more uncertain scie science, we actually lose ten uncrs. en reporter: and the down side of turning off a variety of experiments is what? >> we've killed innovation because the most innovative becaus projects are the projects that will go first. >> reporter: the pending budget cuts have also forced labs to etow down the hiring of promising younger scientists. >> turning them down because i have to say to them "in all honesty, i don't know whether i can take you on. on that four to five-year commitment." >> reporter: the n.i.h. hopes to restore the lost 10% if the ifncy's funding is restored, but this is one danger from the anscal cliff that isn't waiting for new year's day. the reduction in medical experiments and the hold on ingoratory jobs is happening now. wyatt andrews, cbs news, wy washington. ghanlor: in afghanistan, another insider attacked today and for inside first tt time the attacker was ackefghan woman. a police sergeant.
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she shot and killed an american contractor inside a compound in rabul that houses police headquarters. man waman was arrested but no noive was given. this year there have been more than 60 insider attacks in which hichans have turned their guns on the people training them. in syria, united nations envoy dakhdar brahimi met today with yresident bashar al-assad but gave no indication of progress towards stopping the civil war. there was also no let-up in attacks on civilians. today funerals for some of the dozen killed yesterday when a bakery was bombed apparently by assad's warplanes. ba amateur video posted online shows the dead piled in the ineets and the wounded being carried to hospitals. first responders in newtown say ll tot call them heroes. jack klugman, who rose to fame on t.v.'s "the odd couple" has died. and pope benedict xvi continues xvi cistmas tradition when the "cbs evening news" continues. questions?
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[ humming ] and used by moms decade after decade. to the best vacation sp(all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert.
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this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. that there's the guy who gets his salsa from new york city. new york city?! [ male announcer ] only pace has that big, bold kick. anything else just ain't right. pace. grab the southwest by the bottle. i get congested. but now, with zyrtec-d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. no prescription needed. >> glor: this >> glor: this weekend saw the sawal funerals for the victims im the newtown tragedy. 20 students and six adults were 20 studeen days ago at sandy aok elementary school. the shooting only stopped when the s first responders arrived and the gunman, adam lanza, committed suicide. elaine quijano sat down with some of the first police ijanoers on the scene.
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>> we were going as fast as we have ever driven, any of us. and we were running for that building. >> reporter: what did you see? what did you hear? >> i -- i could hear shots. ep reporter: officer michael mcgowan entered sandy hook elementary with sergeant david enllgren and officer liam seabrook. seabrook knocked out the glass on a locked rear door so the officers could get inside. >> we were moving down the hallway and we don't hea the officer knocked out the glass at sandy hook so the other officers could get merchandise. >> we didn't see or hear anything. >> we could basically just smell gun powder. >> at what point did you realize what you were dealing with? >> immediately. once i got there i myself knew pretty much what was going on. we didn't have specific details yet. it was utterly shocking to
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anyone. there is no words that can describe. >> he and the other officers directed the students outside, shielding them. >> we didn't want them to see and i hope we did that. >> what did you say, officer? >> come on, guys, we're going to go. come on. we're just going to go outside. i remember thinking that they seemed less emotion -- emotional than me at the time. i kept telling them how brave they were, their names, try to keep their mind off everything that was going on around them. we were confident and believed that our actions did cause this incident to stop. >> do you believe he knew you were coming? >> in my heart i believe he was aware of our presence. >> you all made him stop. you guys are heroes. >> please don't say that.
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please don't ever say that. i don't think any of us want to be heroes at the expense of what happened. >> we're hired as police officers. we take an oath to serve and protect. that day we protected those who got out. we wish we could have been there sooner. >> newtown, connecticut. since the tragedy, newtown has had support from all over the world, cards, letters and especially toys and stuffed animals. 60,000 at last count, enough to fill the gym at town hall. every child in newtown has been invited to take one home. queen elizabeth takes a special peek at the christmas spirits. that story is next.
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>> glor: nelson mandela' >> glor: nelson mandela's hospital stay has been extended. he have will to nelson mandela's hospital stay has been extended through christmas. the officials say he is responding to treatment. a prayer service was held today for him. the former south african president, 94, has been fighting a lung infection and gal stones. the first president bush will spend christmas in the hospital in houston. bush who is 88 has been battling a cough for weeks and developed a fever over the weekend.
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we got worded to that actor yak klugman has died. most notably in the odd couple. he won two emmys playing the sloppy sports writer with his roommate. in the 80s he lost his voice to throat cancer but trained himself to speak again. he was 90. at the vatican, pope den ticket celebrated christmas eve mass. benedict is 85. he urged people to slow down and spend more time with god and less time using high-tech gadgets. on a somewhat related note for the first time ever britain's queen elizabeth has gone 3d. she watched a playback. she thanked all the athletes who took part in the london
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olympics. the message will air tomorrow. one christmas tradition would not take place without some of santa's helpers. their story is next. sometimes life can be well, a little uncomfortable. but when it's hard or hurts to go to the bathroom, there's dulcolax stool softener. dulcolax stool softener doesn't make you go, it just makes it easier to go. dulcolax stool softener. make yourself comfortable. starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news.
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>> glor: we end tonight with a story about the magic >> glor: we end tonight with a story about the magic of christmas as told by our chief national correspondent byron national it begins with two words. the story of christmas as told by our byron pits. >> dear santa, how are things at the north pole. >> called one of the wonders of the christmas season, children who don't simply believe in santa claus, but also believes he answers his mail. and then there are those who believes in answering santa's mail. about 82 years ago santa claus, indiana, a small town on the kentucky border started the tradition of answering letters to santa. a local billionaire was in
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charge. folks affectionately called him santa jim. >> my dad was santa claus. >> pat cook is santa jim's daughter. now 81, she's been helping santa since she was 12. >> you have the advantage of the postage that says. >> indiana. >> that is why letters with no address, no zip code, even no stamp awry here in santa claus each day. >> we get letters that say north pole, big red guy, guy in the little red suit. they all get delivered. this is the santa elves head quarters. >> unlike letter operations today, their service is free. >> for my daddy i would like for him to find a job, and for my mommy a little time relax. >> under her watchful eye, dozens of elf volunteers answer merely 30,000 letters each year. >> if we can just make a difference with one child, that's a difference.
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>> yeah. >> now the keeper of the letters, she displays the best ones in this museum. >> here is my favorite. dear santa, i want my dad to be smarter. pleads can my dad be smarter. >> show of hands if you believe in santa claus. >> these three received their letters from santa, but it's clear they already understand what christmas is all about. >> what does christmas mean to you? >> that you should believe in other people. >> how about you? >> it should be a happy time and fun time and you get to spend time with your family. i like it. >> family, a gift with renewed meaning this holiday season. byron pits, cbs news. that is the cbs evening news tonight. from all of us at cbs news, merry christmas. good night.
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i am allen martin. >> i am elizabeth cook. this wasn't supposed to be a federal holiday, bit turned into one. cbs 5 reporter grace lee tells us it is not so great for some people trying to get on a plane. >> that's right. many spent thousands for the airline ticket and also made appointments to be at the agency today. but since the president declared this a holiday three days ago, this became a huge deal. >> i am real upset because we could have done -- at this point i don't know what we can do now. just wait. we have been here since 7:30 in the morning. my appointment was at 9:00. >> stranded on christmas eve. it was the same story for dozens who were supposed to
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renew or pick up passports today. some had pintments scheduled for today, including aiden keith. he is supposed to catch a flight to mexico tomorrow to see his wife and 2-year-old. >> dispinting pinting -- dispinting. >> the passport agency was supposed to be open today, but in a last minute dig on friday the president declared christmas eve a federal holiday. federal workers complained he should show holiday cheer since they had not had a salary increase since 2009. >> do you expect someone to come out here now? >> no. i respect the president wants to give people a vacation. i just wish they would have planned it better. >> it is not just an inconvenience for jeffrey chase. he was supposed to see his mother-in-law in germany before her open heart surgery. >> gg

CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley
CBS December 24, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

News/Business. Scott Pelley. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Hawaii 4, Jeff 4, Nelson Mandela 3, Alabama 3, Jeff Berardelli 2, Michael 2, Campbell 2, Jim Axelrod 2, Byron 2, Cbs News 2, The N.i.h. 2, Boehner 2, Newtown 2, Nancy Cordes 2, New York City 2, Louisiana 2, Florida 2, Mississippi 2, Indiana 2, Mexico 2
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Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
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Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1920
Pixel height 1080
Sponsor Internet Archive
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on 12/25/2012